According to the most recent figures made available by Statistics Netherlands, the seasonally adjusted unemployment figure for the second quarter of 2006 stood at 407 thousand, the lowest score since the summer of 2003. In the first six months of 2006, unemployment fell by nearly 60 thousand.
In the second quarter, 5.5 percent of the labour force were unemployed, as against 6.7 percent one year previously. The largest relative decline in unemployment was recorded among young people.
Unemployment down by 60 thousand over the last six months
Unemployment fell rapidly over the last six months. After the period October-December 2005, the seasonally adjusted unemployment figure dropped by nearly 60 thousand. In the first three quarters of 2005, it still fluctuated around 490 thousand, the highest number in recent years.
Youth unemployment continues to fall
In the 15-24 age category, 86 thousand persons were unemployed in the second quarter, i.e. 32 thousand down on one year previously. Unemployment decreased most distinctly among young males. Their number fell by 23 thousand over a period of twelve months. Unemployment among young females fell by 9 thousand.
The unemployment rate among young people decreased from 13.8 to 10.3 percent in the space of one year. In other age groups, the unemployment rate also declined, but the decline was less substantial. In the 25-44 and over-45 age brackets, the unemployment rate was under 5 percent in the period April-June.